We woke up rather early the next day after a good night's sleep(compare to the previous night on the train). The hotel’s breakfast was served in buffet style. Vietnamese breakfast menu would never miss out Pho Ga(Vietnamese Chicken Noodles Soup) and bánh mì(Vietnamese baguette). But this time we found something new and good, bánh cuon nóng(rolled rice sheet) and porridge with nuoc mam(fish sauce).
After breakfast, we decided to walk to the town center again. This time we visited the tourism center, located right in the heart of the town. Sapa tourism center provided comprehensive services including currency exchange.
This church was the landmark in Sapa town.
Next to the church was an open air market. We brought an umbrella here last night.
Then, we went to Banguette and Chocolat again. This time it was opened. Banguette and Chocolat was managed by Hoa Sua School, a training department for disadvantage youth. The building had 4 decent rooms up stair for tourists and a lovely café down stair. Normally the rooms will be taken if you walk in on the same day, so early booking is advisable. However I met a pair of Iraq couples at the café who managed to get a room by walk in. Lucky couples!
We ordered Opera Cake(21KVND) and hot Coffee(20KVND). We were running out of Vietnamese Dongs. So we paid in USD and they returned the change in VND.
Back to the hotel, I took a picture of the hotel building.
I was not surprised to see a group of local people waiting to “guide” us to their villages. I had read it from other’s blog. Every day, they will come all the way from their villages to Sapa town, waiting in front of the hotel lobby, and then follow the tourists back to their villages. At the end of the hiking tour, they will try to sell their souvenirs to the tourists.
So, we started off the journey to Hmong village and then to Dao village. The scenery was simply breathtaking, we were surrounded by the almost vertical rice terraces and stunning mountain peaks with regular mists hovering on them.
It was a good 5 hours walk, or more, but we were rewarded with beautiful scenery
At the rest point(for toilet as well), there were kids selling souvenirs and also hiking sticks. Some of the them even carried a baby at their backs. I forgot to mention that there was a “dedicated” local lady following me all the way. We could hardly communicate because she spoke poor English and I did not speak Vietnamese, making it worst was that she did not speak Vietnamese but her own dialect. But when I knew she was over 50, I felt so bad for her. I paid her a small sum of money as a token of appreciation when we reached her village and she took it happily.
Lunch was simple but delicious, especially the stir fry beef with lemongrass.
After that, we proceed to visit the school in the village. When we reached Dao village, we did not need to walk back. We took a van back to the town.
The hotel provided us a room for shower(Note that we had to check out the hotel in the morning before we went hiking). Dinner was at the same hotel restaurant. This time we ordered Menu4, vegetable soup, fried spring roll, fried tofu and fried vegetables. We also ordered a glass of mango juice.
Since we still had some time, we went to Banguette and Chocolat again. We took away a piece of tiramisu at 24KVND and T.Amand aux poire(pie with some local fruit jam and almond flakes on top) at 24KVND. It was supposed to be our supper on the train, but we finished it while waiting for the train.
A cup of vietnam coffee at the train station.
After that, it was another 10 hours train back to Hanoi. Above picture was the train restaurant I got myself a bottle of lemon green tea.
Banguette & Chocolat
Thac Bac Road, Sapa
Labels: Vietnam |